By Akeem Busari

The future of football post Covid-19, would be up for debate as the prestigious Football Africa Forum, holds its fourth edition and Africa’s first all inclusive online summit on 30, May, 2020.

Football like all other sports have been dealt a sudden blow with the scale and impact of the Covid-19 pandemic around the world, causing all public sport events to be cancelled with huge ramifications for all its stakeholders.

The online forum will debate the future of the sport and to find common ground as to the new normal in our society, at large. According to the organizers, the forum is expected to discuss Covid-19 and its Impact on: National Football Associations; National Football Leagues; Football Clubs; Players’ Welfare; Football Player Contracts; Coaching Regimes and during lockdown – FIFA’s Solidarity Payment System.

According to Chinedu Amadi, Executive Vice-President, Landmark Sports and Entertainment Promotions Limited, who are the event consultants, the first ever Africa’s online football summit is expected to proffer lasting solutions to the problems besetting football on the continent.

” The forum is a platform that started in 2016, with the new FIFA Agents Regulations and just for example today, we are seeing a number of countries having associations representing agents to regulate their industry and so with the other segments of football like administration and club management,” Amadi began.

” A course will soon be introduced in Africa by Africa Football Forum. It is being used by UEFA, and we will engage with the World Leagues Forum and all other international bodies to continuously exchange their programs with their African counterparts. We enquired from UEFA, as well as to bring the Member Association Development Program to Africa. And as mentioned, the forum will have four editions before the next AFCON, and that in itself indicates such continuous stakeholder engagement to ensure we maximize football development in Africa, ” the globally renowned sports consultant stated.

He went on to enthuse confidently that the numerous challenges facing the business of professional football in Africa, are surmountable. Adding; ” There are numerous challenges affecting professional football in Africa. However, I believe key African stakeholders in football who believe in a ‘players first’ approach and coupled with deploying world-class ICT solutions, would help to bridge the development gap, as well as, promoting accountability and transparency. Once this foundation is in place, and with the right mindset, I believe we can gradually sideline the challenges,” he remarked.

Expected to participate in the online summit are, Sport Ministers, Football Associations, League clubs, Academies, Player Unions, Armed Forces, Tertiary Education Institutions, Agents, Foundations, Social Change Agencies, Stadium Managers, Football Equipment Suppliers, Supporter Clubs, State and local government, Media, Marketing Agencies, Business Service Providers and others.

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